I was six years old… My mother had to relocate me to my paternal grandmother’s home for a while (far away from the city), because I was to be enrolled in grammar school and I had already missed pre-school. My mother’s plan was to eventually relocate the whole family, including the house pets, all of which happened a few months later.
I remember feeling out of place, after I was left with my mother’s mother in-law… This grand mother was rather cold to me for her own reasons (maybe she was sick). Not seeing my family or my home , or even the city where I came from, must have been such a shock but at the time I was too young to understand what was happening. I remember feeling sad most of the times, even when the town was so humble, green and beautiful. People would be up quite early in the mornings, going to church and sweeping the streets clean. There were cows herded to pasture fields in the mornings, then back in the evenings. I would go to the river creek and play sirens with my sister and a lot of cousins.
Meeting my elder sister (whom is only 18 months older than I am) was also a shock. She had been raised by my grandmother (since age 2) She was 7 at the time, somehow she gave me the best of her company, even though she had just then got to meet me. My sister helped me do my homework and was strict. Thanks to her, I had learned how to read and write (Spanish) by age 7 (something extraordinary back in 1977, long before the internet). I was a busy child, with homework and the regularly assigned house chores.
Before my mother came back, I certainly must have missed her (and my other siblings), but for some mental reason I blocked the fact that I resented her for leaving me there; while I struggled to block the pain, I also blocked her from my mind. I now know I was in big pain. But being a six year old, and having no attachment to my grandmother there, who would I turn to for consolement ?… My sister there was hardly in love with me… I felt her resentment for getting some part of the full attention she used to have… Normal sibling rivalry, I know.
Maybe because I am naturally a depressed botched abortion survivor (with PTSD), I tend to react extremely to stressful situations, but this situation was extreme. Being there in that house that always felt cold, no matter how bright the day was, is something no child should ever feel… I did.
Being the fighter that I was born, I still tried to bond.
One of those days where I came back from playing sirens, on the road back home, two of my little cousins and I met a gentleman who looked (and was dressed) like in the picture above… I cannot remember what we said to him and or what he said, he was sitting under a shade and his face looked so full of peace and contentment, that I know for that reason we had approached him. I know we had a short conversation of maybe about 5 minutes. I would give my heart to remember that conversation. I can’t remember.
I have only told this story recently to my sister (she was not there at that moment). She said that in that town (where everyone knows each other), there had never been men with shoulder length hair. After that encounter, I remember being drawn to church, and I would sing and go to mass by myself, and I was a choir singer from ages 8 to 14, later I migrated and kind of lost my innocence. I want it back… If I could only remember that conversation, I would be a very happy kid.
Have you experienced something like this ?.